As unnerving as it is impressive, this viral video captures a robot created by tech firm Boston Dynamics opening a door for its “friend”.
The footage, which was viewed more than five million times within hours of being posted online, shows a Boston Dynamics SpotMini at work carrying out a significant feat in the field of robotics.
The four-legged robot is seen marching purposefully up to a door before extending its neck and a clamp device to the handle.
The machine then pulls it ajar, using its foot and neck to fully open the door and allow another robot to pass through it, before moving through the entrance itself, while holding it open.
The 30kg, 0.84 metre SpotMini is one of a series of robots developed by SoftBank-owned engineering firm Boston Dynamics.
It can last up to 90 minutes on a charge and is described on the company’s website as “a nimble robot that handles objects, climbs stairs, and will operate in offices, homes and outdoors”.
But Boston Dynamics’ tagline for the robot – “Good Things Come in Small Packages” – failed to convince many social media users who were left unnerved by the film.
Another Twitter user, Mic Wright, sarcastically posted: “What did you do today?” “Oh, I continued development of the robot murder dogs that will one day exterminate us all.”
Actress Brea Grant added: “I guess it’s cool to know how I’m going to die.”
But Google employee Danny Sullivan was impressed by the robot’s manners.
“It’s not just that the robot opens the door handle. It’s how it uses its foot in a human way to keep the door open. Plus, so polite!” he posted.
Writer Celeste Ng added: “I’m just so tickled by the teamwork. And how Robot #2 manages to not drop the door on itself. I haven’t even mastered that.”